- Spem in Alium (also set as "Sing and glorify"), motet for 40 voices, P. 299
- Salve intemerata virgo, motet (antiphon) for 5 voices, P. 144
- Mass "Salve intemerata", for 5 voices, P. 3
- Salvator mundi (I) (also set as "Arise O Lord" and "With all our hearts"), motet for 5 voices, P. 216
- Discomfort them O Lord, for 5 voices (contrafacta of Absterge Domine)
- O sacrum convivium (also set as "I call and cry to thee" and "O sacred and holy banquet"), motet for 5 voices, P. 210
Released to mark the 500th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Tallis, the most important composer, along with William Byrd, of the English Renaissance, this disc offers some of Tallis's most impressive music for the church. The extended five-voice Motet "Salve intemerata," a setting of a poetic prayer to Mary, was probably composed when Tallis was in his early 20s, although very little is known of the composer's biography, and secure dates (including his year of birth) are few and far between. Nevertheless, the Motet's florid style points to this early period in the composer's life, before the religious upheavals of the English Reformation would compel him to adopt a more straightforward style. The following parody Mass, which is based on the Motet, also dates to the pre-Reformation period, although its greater concision hints at Tallis's developing facility. The three concluding works, on the other hand, are all products of the changes imposed by the Reformation monarchs. In English instead of Catholic Latin, they display a greater directness of expression than the earlier music. The most extraordinary composition on this disc, however, is the forty-voice Motet "Spem in alium." Composed late in Tallis's life, it is an indisputable masterpiece of the English Renaissance. Jeremy Summerly leads the Oxford Camerata in a suitably majestic performance, with the voices gradually combining to form a thrilling and sonically opulent whole. The effect is particularly gripping in the SACD and DVD-Audio versions of the recording, which take advantage of all that surround-sound technology has to offer.